Posts Tagged With: anxious avoidant attachment

grief is a dick punch

My mom’s been gone ten years this week.
I have more feels about this than I’d like.
It’s simpler to just kind of know intrinsically that she’s dead and not really think about it. Because when I do think about it, I mostly feel anger.
Ten years later and I’m still so fucking angry!
I’m angry she was sick and kept the secret. I’m angry at her for choosing to die.

Seventeen days between finding out she was sick to finding out she was dead.
Like, why am I surprised she was selfish? Why am I surprised she kept her declining health a secret? She was nothing but secrets.
Knowing she was who she was doesn’t make the anger any less.

I’m angry I barely got to see her.
I’m angry I had to rush to say goodbye.
I’m angry that helping her ridiculous husband manage his grief kept me from helping my daughters manage their grief.
I’m angry that my grief is more anger than anything.

I’ve worked through so many things in therapy.
Cleary this is not one of them…

TBPH though, most days I’m just a girl with no parents. And I’m OK with that. My anger spends the majority of my life taking a nap. But when it wakes, we just kind of fuel each other and feed off each other and I simply cannot believe things she said and did are still manipulating me. (Perhaps it’s that I’m letting them manipulate me…?)
Either way, I’m not feeling love for her. I’m not feeling sad she’s gone. I’m not nostalgic about her.
I’m feeling really fucking mad.

Feeling all this anger can’t possibly be good for me.
But I’m over here up to my ass in it.

My logical brain understands I need to let it go. (y’all hear Elsa too, right?) Send that anger on it’s way. Even if it’s replaced with nothing, that’s most likely better for me. To feel anything instead of anger, I’m here for it.
My feelings place understands I don’t feel that anger the majority of my life. That it flares up when I do stop to think about my mother’s death.

Our relationship, her life, neither of those had to end the way they did.
Her mom died suddenly when she was only twenty three years old.
My mom chose to die in secret and I found out suddenly when I was forty years old.
She knew what that was like. To lose her mom without warning. Why would she do that to her own daughter?
I don’t understand that kind of selfishness.
She was controlling the situation (and us in it) even as she was dying.
Talk about needing to let it go.
Just fucking be real with your children. We’re adults. We can handle it.

That’s not who she was.
She was a tyrannical dictator who ran her world with an iron fist.
She wasn’t about to give that up at the end of her life.

How disappointing.
She could have done it differently and we all could have felt our feels as we went.
Of course she wasn’t interested in us feeling our feels. To be fair, she wasn’t interested in feeling her own feels either.
It just occurred to me that she’d probably enjoy that I’m angry about her death.
That’s nearly enough to make me choose to never be angry about it again. Why in the fuck would I give her the posthumous satisfaction?

Interestingly enough, simply writing about it helped me feel less angry. (must journal more frequently)
I’m an orphan in this world. An adult child of deceased parents.
Most days I’m cool with it. I adapted. This is my life now.
But the anniversary of my mom’s death got me thinking.
And feeling.
That anger didn’t bubble up in a manageable way, it erupted like a volcano and I was simultaneously burning and drowning in the lava flow.
Somehow I survived and the lava is cooling.
I find myself wondering if this anger volcano can move from dormant to extinct.
I mean, time and work-of-self moved it from active to dormant…so that’s moving in the right direction, yeah?

I don’t know.
I can’t help but wonder if feeling angry is better than feeling unloved.

Grief is weird.
Sometimes it’s just a normal state of being.
Sometimes it’s a straight up dick punch.
I’m choosing to move back into ‘normal state of being’, this ‘dick punch anger’ is painful and exhausting.

That’s what life’s about though, right?
The choices we make.
I choose to feel my feels.
I choose to figure out how to process those feels.
I choose to acknowledge, accept-don’t-judge, and release those feels.

I do think it’s OK that I’m angry about the way my mom died.
I don’t think I need to let it consume me.
Look at me, over here growing.
Huzzah!

Categories: death | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

remembrance of snow days past

Yesterday’s snow day got me thinking about all the snow days I’ve had the joy to live through.
From snow days with my girls to snow days when I was a girl.
Curiously, the memory that took my breath away was of a snow day in 1979.
I was seven years old in February, my eighth birthday would come in May. A crazy storm came out of nowhere and buried the DC Metro area in over two feet of snow.

President’s Day Storm 1979
photo copyright: Washington Post

This was a bomb cyclone storm too, (Though I think it was before that phrase was in the common lexicon.).
This storm was of great significance, mostly because everyone was caught off guard. It also directly impacted the way meteorologists predict storms.

But for this particular little red-haired girl, who dug tunnels to access an elaborate system of housing (caves) in her yard, drank her body weight in hot chocolate, and impatiently waited for her gloves to dry before she could go back out to play again, the President’s Day Storm had a different kind of significance.
It’s the first time I can recall actively panicking.
Because the storm hit us out of the blue, after a couple of days, we ran out of important things. You know…milk and bread, and the like.


My mother decided to walk the .6 miles (uphill) to our local Safeway to get what we needed. As you can see, according to Google Maps it’s about a 12 minute walk from home to the grocery store. I figure that was pretty much the same 38 years ago as it is now. House is in the same place…even the same Safeway.

Now, in hindsight, I wonder if she wasn’t just trying to get out of the house and away from us kids and Grandaddy. Since there’s no one left to ask, I guess we’ll never know.

I’ve only recently come to understand my childhood of being a “mommy’s girl” that didn’t feel comforted by her mommy was directly linked to my attachment anxiety. That I clung to my mother in desperate desire to feel connected to her, even though I very rarely did.

When I started my little jaunt down memory lane of snow days, I first visited the amazing tunnels and caves my brother and I built. Saw the snow packed down from flipping ‘skin the cat(s)’ about seven hundred thousand times off the big strong limb of the maple tree. And actually, if I think about it, that may have been how we decided to created the cave and tunnel system.
But then as I jumped over the fence (couldn’t open the gate for all that snow) to visit the forts we carved out of the snow against the fence, I felt my eyes drawn towards the church at the end of our street.
I actively watched up the street for what seemed like hours in a panic waiting for my mother to come home.

I am actively feeling that panic in the pit of my stomach as keenly now as I did at that snowy day.

Of course I have no idea how long my mother was actually gone, how long I stood there anxiously awaiting her return. What felt like hours could have been a much shorter amount of time. I honestly don’t know. I haven’t consciously thought about that day and the way I felt in ages.

What I do know is that when I finally saw my mother turn the corner onto our street, grocery bags strapped to the sled she pulled behind her, I was flooded with the greatest relief I’d ever know.
I ran up the street towards here, crying and gasping for breath.
The look on her face stopped me in my tracks, snowy mittens immediately wiping my face before she noticed my tears. But it was too late. She’d seen them, and had not patience for them.
She said, “What’s the matter with you?” in a tone laced with such disgust it was almost a physical blow.
“I was worried about you. I didn’t know when you were going to come home. I didn’t know if you were safe.”
She shook her head and moved passed me, “Of course I’m safe. Don’t be so dramatic.”

I stood in the street watching her walk away from me. In that moment I felt so small and so terribly stupid. Of course she was safe. She was the mommy. Mommies are strong and capable. I was stupid to worry about her. I was too dramatic with my tears and panic.

I’ve never shared this story before.
Honestly, I haven’t thought about in…well, probably ever. But that’s the memory upon which I landed when I started thinking about snow days.
Not the fun we had as kids.
Not the fun we had as adults with our own kids.
Not the sledding, the snowmen, the bonfires.
Not the snow cream, the snow angels, the hot chocolate.

But I did have fun snow days as a kid.
With a frozen nose and shrieking laughter.
With snowball fights at the church yard and sledding at the park.
Snuggled up with my kitties under colorful ‘afgans’ in cozy jammies and stacks of books.

And I did have fun snow days as an adult.
Witnessing the girls in the snow for the first time.
Bundling everyone up for very quick trips to play.
Taking their photos with the some of the most fun snowmen you’ve ever seen.
Making snow cream.
Making hot chocolate by the potful.

I don’t honestly know if more of my memories are happy than sad. But I do know I go through the happy ones more frequently. I do know that this particular sad one was buried as deep as the snow from that long ago winter.
As far as I’m concerned, snow days are always a good thing!
Our county schools called off Friday just before 5 pm Thursday afternoon. So that means another snow day today!
Even though there really isn’t any snow, I’m still happy!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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